Pre-exercise fluid intake is an important healthy behavior for maintaining athletes’ sports performances and health. However, athletes’ behavioral adherence to fluid intake and its underlying psychological mechanisms have not been investigated. This prospective study aimed to use a health psychology model that integrates the self-determination theory and the theory of planned behavior for understanding pre-exercise fluid intake among athletes. Participants (n
= 179) were athletes from college sport teams who completed surveys at two time points. Baseline (Time 1) assessment comprised psychological variables of the integrated model (i.e., autonomous and controlled motivation, attitude, subjective norm, perceived behavioral control, and intention) and fluid intake (i.e., behavior) was measured prospectively at one month (Time 2). Path analysis showed that the positive association between autonomous motivation and intention was mediated by subjective norm and perceived behavioral control. Controlled motivation positively predicted the subjective norm. Intentions positively predicted pre-exercise fluid intake behavior. Overall, the pattern of results was generally consistent with the integrated model, and it was suggested that athletes’ pre-exercise fluid intake behaviors were associated with the motivational and social cognitive factors of the model. The research findings could be informative for coaches and sport scientists to promote athletes’ pre-exercise fluid intake behaviors.
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